41° Good Afternoon
41° Good Afternoon

Steve Matthews’ Saratoga selections for Monday, Aug. 22

Best Bet: EQHO (4)

Best Value: JESS I AM (5)

FIRST: Lady’s First could get the early jump in weak opener. Wake Up Smiling gets favorable cutback to sprint. Another Genius concluded work slate with half-mile bullet; stay tuned to the tote.

SECOND: Sadler’s Joy was pace and trip compromised in last; demand value on barn that’s struggling this meet. Happy Match runs late and 12-furlong trip could play to strength. Caldera is 0-for-14 but owns fast final figures; must consider.

THIRD: Battle Midway runs late and could be aided by longer trip. Luckybuck Syndrome could prove very tough on an unchallenged lead. Greyjoy wheels back in a hurry after breaking maiden on Wednesday; very playable.

FOURTH: Eqho logged first victory the first time she touched Spa sod; more to come. Hold Me Down is rested and packs solid late kick on best efforts. Voila La Victoire is riding a forward line on the numbers; price will be tempting.

FIFTH: Jess I Am took backward step in last after front-running second in previous start; rebounds. Proud Zip moves to grass after strong placing in last; dangerous. Snag could be the prime beneficiary if fractions get fast and furious. Energy Policy is training with a purpose for Chad Brown; must be factored into the mix if able to escape AE list.

SIXTH: Drama King packs potent late kick on best and lands in field with ample speed. Bond Vigilante could play out as the quickest of the quick with aggressive ride. Ostrolenka is right in the thick of this if pace meltdown ensues.

SEVENTH: Slim Shadey tallied swift final fraction when a strong second in last; needs scratches to get into body of race. English Minister owns two wins and a third in three starts on Spa sod; dangerous. Chiropractor was done in by bad start when favored last time; must respect. Macagone is fleet-footed and could prove very tough on an unchallenged lead.

EIGHTH: Tiger Ride logged two 5-furlong works for first start since Fourth of July; primed and ready. Eskenformoney was an ultra-game second in last; logical, short-priced player. Sweetgrass regressed in last after fast-figured win in previous start; bounce-back potential.

NINTH: Goldies Luckycharm compiled tight work tab for first start since February; weakness of field is selection’s strength. Persky’s Spirit is speedy and will offer fat price; very interesting. Ditch Em should benefit from return to dirt. U Do That is another that could improve with surface switch.


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